Your Family: your TEAM

Updated: May 30, 2019

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself!" Abraham Lincoln.

The definition of a team is “more than one person working together toward a common goal.” The dictionary makes it sound easy, but teamwork in a family (and out of it for that matters...) can be extremely difficult. A successful family has a myriad of goals which may include things like raising children to be successful adults, educating all members of the family team, providing spiritual growth opportunities, balancing finances and learning about responsible money management, building and maintaining healthy relationships, keeping the family team safe, tackling good health through physical exercise and nutrition, handling medical necessities—and this is just a sampling. Families are like a team. Each individual family member brings skill, personality, and role to the family team, just as each sports player has a specific position on the team. As a whole, the family shares a history and goals, just as the team works together to win a game. One player may seem more important than others. However, one person can’t play the game by themselves. We need our families to help us live through the happy, good, sad, and painful times.

Three key pillars provide the foundation for a harmonious family: trust, respect and teamwork.

Family members who work together can help balance each others' strengths and weaknesses and bring everyone closer together, reports the University of Illinois Extension. Parents who work as a team have a positive impact on their children's emotions and relationships. Kids who work as a team can increase their sibling bond, tend to watch out for each other and want to help and take care of one another​.

Working together makes each member of the family feel good. Teamwork increases good feelings for both the helper and the person being helped. Knowing that we have our family to back us up in times of trouble can make bad times less stressful and give us the support we need to get through them. Family teamwork also builds trust, opens lines of communication and helps each person be accountable to other members of the family.​

Because each person in a family has different talents, defining our roles can make working as a team easier. It is up to each team to define how this works, still everyone has to participate...Providing an opportunity for learning, trying things out, or accepting defeat is an important role of the family. As a family team, we can help each other get through tough times.

In our family, the concept of being a team applies to every area of our lives and it has a very concrete example in the game of soccer (or any other team sport...). Making our family a TEAM has wonderful benefits;

#1 There is no “I” in Team.

Teamwork requires selflessness. Children who know that they are part of a bigger whole are more willing to let go of their own wants and wishes when it’s for the good of the “team.” This can come into play when deciding on what movie to watch as a family, or sharing that last piece of cake at dinner.

#2 Team Teaches Cooperation. When a family has a team mindset, kids realize that as the team goes, so they go. For example, we can’t go swimming if we don’t get the house straightened. So, if one child is having a hard time picking up his room, the other chips in. They cooperate because they know this will help the team move on to the prize.

#3 Team Victories Develop Closeness

Individual successes are celebrated, but so is family success. Did everyone get dressed on time for school? Yay, team! Did we do a good deed as a family by helping someone in need? Good work, team! Helping your children feel a part of a bigger whole brings them closer to us and their siblings.

Teamwork isn't something that happens overnight, and it requires effort from each family member. Keeping the lines of communication open. This means that family members listen to each other and work to help one another if they're having trouble completing their tasks. Holding a weekly family meeting that allows each person to talk about what's working and what isn't so we can all make changes accordingly. As teamwork becomes more of a habit for each of us, we might not need to have family meetings as often and may need to gather everyone together only if a problem arises or roles need to be rearranged.

Never forget, our family can be the best team we ever work with! Take good care of this great gift!

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